Karaka School - 15/08/2019

School Context

Karaka School caters for children from Years 1 to 8 and has a proud history of over 100 years in the community. Rural learning opportunities and intergenerational family associations are features of the school. Since ERO’s 2016 review, the number of students who identify as Māori or Pacific has increased.

The vision and valued outcomes are foundations for successful learnng. The school's whakatauki, "Ka whangaia ka tupu, ka puawai" (that which is nurtured, blossoms and grows), promotes a focus on excellence and equity. The LEARN school values are learning (akoranga), excellence (hiranga), adaptability (urutau), respect (whakaute) and nurture (poipoi). The school’s strategic goals focus on engagement and achievement, community hauora, and teaching and learning in innovative learning environments.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement in literacy and numeracy including groups of students
  • attendance and engagement
  • health and safety.

Karaka School has a history of positive ERO evaluations. The 2016 ERO report highlighted strengths in leadership, professional learning community and internal evaluation. These strengths have been sustained and the identified areas for development have been addressed.

Karaka School is a member of the Rosehill Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is effective in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for students.

Achievement information over the last three years indicates that most students achieve at national curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. 2018 achievement information indicates that most Maori and Pacific students achieve at or above curriculum expectations in literacy. Year 8 students leave well prepared for secondary school learning. There is evidence of increased parity over time for boys in literacy.

Students experience a positive culture of learning that promotes collaboration, critical thinking and student agency. They demonstrate resilience and persistence in their learning. Students self-select learning workshops in response to their interests and own learning needs. They confidently identify their learning strengths and can talk about next steps for learning.

Students achieve very well in relation to other valued outcomes. They:

  • enact the school values enthusiastically in everyday school life

  • interact positively with their peers and adults

  • experience a wide range of learning opportunities and experiences that enable equitable outcomes for all.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school is successful in accelerating learning for Māori and other students who need this.

School achievement data indicate that many students make accelerated progress over time. Well-developed systems and processes for identifying, monitoring and evaluating rates of progress are used to inform teaching and learning. Deliberate, collaborative professional learning builds a shared understanding of effective strategies to accelerate student learning.

Leaders and teachers use data walls, regular meetings, including those with external agencies, to identify, track and monitor rates of progress for students to be successful learners. New students who need to make accelerated progress are catered for through appropriate programmes. Teachers plan learning workshops in response to students’ learning needs and regularly evaluate the impact of accelerating student progress and achievement.

Students with additional learning needs are well supported in class to achieve their individual goals. Parents are involved in establishing learning goals. Gifted and talented students’ learning is extended to challenge their thinking.

Students with additional languages benefit from the school’s inclusive culture that celebrates diversity.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

High quality leadership, an engaging, responsive curriculum, and a culture of professional inquiry are key school conditions that are effectively enabling the school to achieve equity and excellence.

Leadership is distributed, inclusive and grown within the school community. School leaders maintain high levels of relational trust. Students, teachers, parents and whānau are nurtured and encouraged to be influential leaders. This creates a strong sense of belonging and ownership within the school community.

Leaders promote and actively participate in schoolwide professional learning. This approach helps to build individual teacher capability and collective professional capacity. Effective systems to support students’ learning are established through well-considered planning. These systems foster student wellbeing and empower students to take ownership of their learning. Opportunities for tuakana/teina learning relationships help students to develop leadership.

Parents and whānau are welcomed and involved in school activities as respected and valued partners in learning. A range of appropriate consultation and communication strategies are used to communicate with and engage parents, whānau and the community.

The board of trustees is focused on students’ learning, wellbeing, progress and achievement. Trustees scrutinise achievement data and other information to inform their resourcing and decision making.

Students experience a broad, challenging, responsive curriculum. A holistic approach enriches learning experiences that develop students’ confidence, critical thinking skills, independence and joy of learning. Students benefit from a learning community that develops their social and emotional wellbeing. Te reo Maori me ona tikanga are more embedded in the school culture. Leaders are committed to sustaining these good practices.

Coherent systems and processes enable and sustain teachers’ collaborative learning and decision making. Emerging leaders are identified, and coaching strategies are used to build professional practice. Leaders and teachers use internal evaluation to gauge the effectiveness of their decision making.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

School leaders have identified relevant developments that include continuing to:

  • build and sustain assessment for learning strategies

  • promote students’ creativity and curiosity

  • enhance internal evaluation using the broader school valued outcomes.

3 Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board and principal of the school completed the ERO board assurance statement and self-audit checklists. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to the following:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • finance
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration and certification
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students
  • attendance
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Karaka School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Strong.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in the:

  • strategic, collaborative leadership
  • robust systems and processes
  • culture of professional inquiry
  • responsive curriculum that develops learner competencies and skills
  • learning focussed partnerships with parents, whānau and the local community.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, further developments are continuing to:

  • extend students’ assessment and learning-to-learn capabilities
  • enhance internal evaluation using indicators of effective practice.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

15 August 2019

About the school


Karaka, Franklin

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 54% Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori                            15%
NZ European/Pākehā      69%
other ethnic groups         16%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

15 August 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2016
Education Review May 2013
Education Review June 2010